NEW YORK (Reuters) -- General Motors Co. is in talks with JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo on deals aimed at providing improved access to consumers for auto loans at its U.S. dealerships, two people with knowledge of those talks said.
The sources were not authorized to discuss the still-confidential negotiations and asked not to be named.
Some GM dealers have complained of difficulty securing loans for subprime customers and in financing vehicle leases after GM sold control of Ally Financial Inc, formerly known as GMAC LLC. The sale made GM the only major automaker in the U.S. market without a captive finance company.
Dealers have identified the lack of financing as a potential barrier to GM winning back U.S. market share, now near 19 percent, the sources said. GM's market share exceeded 48 percent of the U.S. market in 1960 and was around 35 percent in 1990.
The negotiations with JPMorgan and Wells Fargo are intended to broaden the availability of auto financing -- particularly to subprime borrowers and for leases. Such a move would remove a potential investor concern around GM ahead of a planned initial public offering, according to the sources.
JPMorgan and Wells Fargo could not be immediately reached for comment.
GM said it was "developing relationships" with banks other than Ally "for specialized financing needs, such as leasing and subprime financing."
"Access to financing is an important part of the vehicle sales process," GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said in a statement. "We believe the auto financing business will continue to evolve and we'll continue to assess our overall needs."
As late as May GM had been considering options that would have given it back a captive auto financing company.
But Detroit-based Ally, now 56-percent owned by the U.S. Treasury, balked at proposals to transfer control of the auto finance portion of GMAC. The company provided financing for about 30 percent of GM car buyers in the first quarter.
JPMorgan Chase was the No. 1 U.S. auto lender in the first quarter while Wells Fargo was No. 2, according to data for the first quarter compiled by Experian Automotive.